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Mobile Design and Development: Practical concepts and techniques for creating mobile sites and web apps (Animal Guide) [Paperback]

Brian Fling
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Book Description

August 31, 2009 0596155441 978-0596155445 1
Mobile Design and Development by Brian Fling is a start to finish guide for designing and building mobile apps regardless of experience, device or platform. Brian took on the daunting challenge to write the mobile guide missing from bookshelves. As Brian describes it "this is a book that teaches people how to cook, not a collection of recipes." Since its release the book has been incredibly well received. It has being described as a "must have" by many experts in the mobile community. The 16 chapters, and 85,000 words within the book have helped thousands understand and dive into mobile.
The first half is a crash course in the mobile ecosystem: how to develop a strategy, address the mobile context--even how to decide which of the multiple mobile application types is best for you, and finally, how to create a user experience for it. The second half is focused on using these principles to make a mobile website or web app.
Mobile Design and Development is a comprehensive resource covering all aspects of the mobile ecosystem. The book covers a great number of topics, however each are described in practical and common sense way—making easy for anyone at any technical level to understand the inner working of the mobile medium.
  • A Brief History of Mobile
  • The Mobile Ecosystem
  • Why Mobile?
  • Designing for Context
  • Developing a Mobile Strategy
  • Types of Mobile Applications
  • Mobile Application Medium Types
  • Mobile Application Media Matrix
  • Mobile Information Architecture
  • Mobile Design
  • The Elements of Mobile Design
  • Mobile Design Tools
  • Mobile Web Apps Versus Native Applications
  • When to Make a Native Application
  • When to Make a Mobile Web Application
  • Mobile 2.0
  • Mobile Web Development
  • Mobile Markup
  • Mobile CSS: Cascading Style Sheets
  • Mobile JavaScript
  • iPhone Web Apps
  • iPhone Markup
  • iPhone CSS
  • iPhone Javascript
  • Creating a Mobile Web App
  • Web Apps as Native Apps
  • Tools and Libraries
  • Adapting to Devices
  • Device Targeting
  • Full Adaptation
  • What Domain Do I Use?
  • Making Money in Mobile
  • Working with an App Store
  • Mobile Advertising
  • Supporting Devices
  • Device Testing
  • Desktop Testing
  • Usability Testing
  • The Future of Mobile
If you're a web designer, web developer, information architect, product manager, usability professional, content publisher, or an entrepreneur new to the mobile, Mobile Design and Development provides you with the knowledge you need to work with this rapidly developing technology.

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Mobile Design and Development: Practical concepts and techniques for creating mobile sites and web apps (Animal Guide) + Build Mobile Websites and Apps for Smart Devices + Head First Mobile Web
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author


Brian Fling is the founder and Creative Director of pinch/zoom (pinchzoom.com)--a mobile design firm based in Seattle. Brian author of O'Reilly Media's Mobile Design and Development and has been an authority in the field of  in mobile user experience for over ten years. 

He has worked with some of the biggest companies in the world--like The New York Times, HSBC, ADP, BBC, Best Buy, PayPal, Delta and eHarmony--to design and build amazing mobile experiences.

Brian writes about mobile on his blog pinchzoom.com/fling

Product Details

  • Series: Animal Guide
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (August 31, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596155441
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596155445
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #463,519 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Brian Fling is the Founder and Creative Director of pinch/zoom (http://pinchzoom.com)--a mobile design firm based in Seattle. Brian is the author of O'Reilly Media's Mobile Design and Development and an authority in the field of in mobile user experience. He has recently worked with some of the biggest companies in the world--like The New York Times, HSBC, ADP, BBC, Best Buy, PayPal, Delta and eHarmony--to design and build amazing mobile experiences.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not so practical techniques October 4, 2010
A Kid's Review
Format:Paperback
Original review written by Pasquale Granato, JUG Lugano, [...]

First of all, let's clear the field from a possible misunderstanding: this book is not about general mobile design and development but it is about web mobile development. The author states a precise, despite arguable, opinion that brutally said is: do not code native applications but prefer as much as you can web applications. This statement is largely discussed across the book and everyone can make up his own opinion about this. Mine is that currently times are not mature to consider to write just web applications both because mobile browser are not powerful enough (on average) to assure a smooth experience on all devices and because of the lack of a good way to make money from your web app.
The first three chapters of the book are a really good introduction to the history of mobile, to the mobile current status and to the reasons that should drive an approach to the mobile development. These chapters are a well written recap of the status of the art and present a lot of data useful to understand the global situation. Unfortunately the book is printed in black and white and several pie-charts and graphs are pretty much impossible to read.
The central part of the book, chapters from four to ten, is devoted to design issues and, despite the lack of an in-depth examination of some subjects, offers a pretty good survey of the topic.
The final part of the book is slightly more technical covering topics such as XHTML-MP, CSS, HTML5, device adaptation, etc. The problem here is that there is nothing really practical and all remains at an introductory level. To give you an example, a capital topic in device adaptation like Media Queries is covered in half a page with just a trivial example.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Starting Point December 5, 2009
By E. Peck
Format:Paperback
Anyone looking to moving into the mobile space as a developer or manager should take the time to read this book. Fling brings a considerable amount of experience to the table and gives an incredible survey of the situation as it exists now. Failing to take into account all the valuable information here would be foolish.

The tone and style are refreshing. Fling doesn't try to be cute or work up a side-line as a comedian. This is just straight out guidance, dealing with real world considerations that keeps things from being too dry.

There isn't much in the way of detailed implementation as this is an overview of the whole landscape. This is what should be read before a project is begun, not somewhere in the middle when code is already being written. Fling makes a great case for mobile web apps and gives some very practical guidance in their creation. It's really the only platform wide enough to fit in the book. Anything else would require an extremely narrow focus that wouldn't fit the rest of the book.

I enjoyed reading this and learned a lot in the process. One can't really ask for more.

Fling is a huge fan of the iPhone and spends a whole chapter describing web development for the iPhone. Since webkit exists in other smart phones, the information is applicable to other platforms for the most part but I would have preferred something less tied to one phone from one vendor. My bias is toward android, but there are plenty of iPhone and Android development books. I can use those once I've moved on to specifics. But this is really a very small issue in relation to the excellent information and presentation in this book.

There is one other issue I almost forgot. There are pie charts in the book, which is black and white.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
By milo
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The bulk of this book (say 80%) is a discussion of information architecture retooled for the mobile world. A useful discussion, but it is NOT why I bought a book on mobile development. I expected a book that discussed in great detail, mobile development.

Skip to chapter 11, 'Mobile Web Development' to get a taste. Chapter 12, 'iPhone Web Apps' also has a few nuggets. Chapter 15, the oddly named and placed 'Supporting Devices' touches on setting up a test and dev environment.

Technical details for server configuration, local test/dev environment configuration, dev methods and techniques etc. are absent. This is NOT a technical reference or guide. It IS, a good executive 'summary'.

Also, although it makes every attempt to appear agnostic, the book is clearly iPhone-centric. This caused me to change my rating from two stars to one star.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
This is a rich, deep look at mobile design. A multitude of devices and platforms defy standard answers to every mobile design and development situation, but Fling leads you though some steps meant to help you navigate those issues.

The book first explains the mobile landscape and defines some of the needed terminology. A look at the scope of the mobile market gets a chapter. Fling devotes Chapter 4 to "Designing for Context." Context is an important concept he returns to in every chapter. He defines and redefines context throughout the book. In Chapter 4 he explains context as the way users will derive value from something they are currently doing. From this viewpoint, user context understands user circumstance. Context also means the environment in which a task is performed. These types of context include physical location, device, platform, access, media and the user's time and attention.

Chapter 5 talks about developing a mobile strategy. He looks at reasons why some attempts fail while others succeed. The style of thinking that works in other forms of design and development don't work for mobile. He takes a look at thinking patterns and development decisions and makes many points about how to unleash the creativity needed to develop for the new world of mobile.

The many types of mobile applications are explained in Chapter 6. In Chapter 7, he explains information architecture as it applies to mobile devices. In Chapter 8 he discusses the elements of design that apply to mobile. Mobile Web apps vs. native applications are examined in Chapter 9. There's also a chapter devoted to the notion of mobile 2.0.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars detailed overview
This is a detailed overview of the mobile device scene. You won't learn computer codes but it makes it clear of the complexities involved in making apps for the numerous devices. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Michael Beloved
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Primer For Entering Mobile Design
In March 2013, the U.N. said 6 billion of the worlds 7 billion people had mobile phones. Of this number over 1 billion had smartphones. Read more
Published 15 months ago by E. Brown
1.0 out of 5 stars Horrible book
Ugh. An awful book. Way outdated. Don't bother. This was a total waste of money. Worth 50˘. I cannot recommend this book.
Published on April 23, 2012 by anonymous
2.0 out of 5 stars Very limited interest for anyone who would be drawn to this book in...
The back of this book says it's recommended for "web designers, web developers, information architects, product managers, usability professionals, content publishers, entrepreneurs... Read more
Published on April 11, 2012 by Guillaume A.
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book but please axe the iPhone promos
First off the book is excellent. It won't please people who want to see code or tons of detail in different areas but as an introduction to mobile design it is fantastic. Read more
Published on December 30, 2011 by Matt Accola
2.0 out of 5 stars Shallow
A lot of topics are mentioned in this book but none of them were discussed in-depth. I was looking for possible designs, pros and cons, any pitfalls to look for and how to... Read more
Published on July 1, 2011 by Clemson Tiger
1.0 out of 5 stars Those who can't do, teach.
Maybe a little more fitting would be Those who don't do, write books..

Author Brian Fling is the founder and Creative Director of pinch/zoom (pinchzoom. Read more
Published on May 29, 2011 by Patrick Young
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Comprehensive Book
This is a great book to get a broad perspective of the types of mobile applications that are out there. Read more
Published on October 27, 2010 by Chris S.
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read for anyone in mobile
Many people would pay for the information Brian Fling has assembled here. Project managers, and even clients need to read and digest this book before starting a mobile initiative. Read more
Published on April 26, 2010 by John Cullum
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book good deal
This is a good book for mobile technology. Easy to read and understand. And the seller sent this book very fast. Very good deal.
Published on February 6, 2010 by P. Tiampasook
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